Islamabad, August 26, 2008: The city of Palas in Kohistan is known for its natural resources, dense forests, exotic species, including Western Tragopan (medium sized brightly plumaged pheasant) and efforts are underway for the inclusion of the city in the global heritage list.
Talking exclusively to The Post, National Project Director Programme for Mountain Areas Conservation (PMAC) Faiz Ali Khan said the government was in contact with the international organizations and the local community to save the area from environmental degradation and added the government had launched various community based projects to achieve its ends. He said the government had also involved private sector for protecting the environment and biodiversity of the region.
“A $2 m project ‘Mountain Marketing’ in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme is underway”, the director said.
Throwing light on the project, he said that 4-5 resorts would be constructed in the area and tracking, sightseeing, skating, bird hunting, fishing and paragliding facilities would be available for the recreation of visitors.
Under the project, he said, rare plants would be preserved and efforts would be made to market them across the globe, adding that the project also aimed to curtail the rate of deforestation by promoting alternate energy resources in the area.
“We are also working to educate children by including environment in the curriculum”, he said, adding that religious scholars would also educate the masses in their weekly Friday sermons.
The PMAC, in collaboration with Agha Khan Rural Support Fund (AKRSF), WWF, IUCN, UNDP, and local communities has initiated various projects to preserve the environment.
Briefing about the difficulties, he said it would be a great deal to educate the masses about the problem. He said the problems pertaining to the communication with locals were compounded owing to lack of staff and security issues. (Courtesy: The Post August 26, 2008)